Journal of Extension Systems

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1996, Volume 12(1), June

G. H. Duvel, Editorial

  1. Igodan, C. O. Agroforestry Systems in South Africa: Role of Extension Services.
  2. Nagaraja, N. & Sethurao, M. K. An Instrument to Measure Management Efficiency: Indian Sericulture Enterprise is the Case.
  3. Omokore, D. F. Intermediate Level Agricultural Education In Nigeria: Diploma Holders are 'Job-Seekers' Rather Than Going Back to Till the Land.
  4. Duvel, G. H. & van der Wateren, J. J. Mistaking the Opinion Leaders: Diffusion Break Down in Change Strategies.
  5. Rivera, W. M. Lessons on Agricultural Extension: In Global Perspectives.
  6. Verma, O. S. & Kumar Jha, S. Air-related Environmental Ethics: Indian Way of Consciousness.
  7. Omotayo, A. M., Atala, T. K. & Ogunwale, S. A. Animal Traction Ownership and Utilization in Nigeria: Farmers' Characteristics are Determinants to the Extent of 43 Percent and 69 Percent Respectively.

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Paradigm Shift or Slide?

The recent paradigm shift in extension is widely interpreted as representing a drastic move away from the technology-transfer model towards a facilitative approach entirely subordinate to the needs of the community. For many extensionists this change, judging by the perceived scope of it, appears to have taken on the dimensions of a "slide" rather than a shift.

Change has been overdue and is widely welcomed. Opinions only vary as to the degree of change that is welcome, and consequently the reactions to the new paradigm have been very divergent. Indications are that they vary from, at the one extreme, judgements of enthusiastic support and an unquestioned conviction concerning the paradigm's applicability and appropriateness, to, at the other extreme, doubt, misgivings and even resistance. The latter seems to be in response to the perceived extremeness of the suggested change (paradigm slide more than a shift). Between these extremes is probably the large majority of mostly practitioners that are in the forefront of the development scene where the appropriateness of the new paradigm will be put to the test and will have to prove itself. It is this majority that is still ignorant of the change, ignores it or assumes-a wait and see attitude, that will have a decisive influence on how far the paradigm will ultimately shift.

Characteristic of the introduction of new paradigms is their initial extreme nature before they assume a more moderate and accommodative position. Will what presently appears to be a paradigm slide in extension and rural development ultimately turn out to be a paradigm shift that represents a compromise or "synthesis" of extremes? Perhaps, it is normal and conducive to change for the protagonists of new paradigms to take extreme stances: To applaud and propagate the new paradigm as the ultimate "truth" and contemptuously reject every earlier one in its totality. Are these extreme viewpoints normally based on scientific insight, or are they more often the results of "belief' or "value" related emotion? If even science as such is a "value" issue, then most of the debate about a new paradigm can hardly be conducted on purely "objective" grounds either. Even the eminent or salient concepts associated with extension and development, such as help towards self-help, self-determination and participative development are aspects of value or belief and consequently could be questioned like any other intervention that is of a promotional nature. In fact, the question arises whether extension or development can truly rid itself of all promotional motives and actions? Even in the industrial countries where promotional intervention is increasingly scorned upon - to such a degree that the concept of extension is regarded as outdated and no longer relevant - the zealous pursuit of environmental issues seems to suggest otherwise.

The current and ultimate interpretation of the paradigm will be revealed in the way in which needs are going to be addressed or dealt with. Will under all circumstances only the needs of the community be legitimate? What if they vary considerably and conflict and division rather than consensus prevails, or if the development agent cannot associate himself ethically with the need of the majority? Does the paradigm shift, after all, represent only a return to the old and widely accepted philosophy of "help towards self-help"?

If, on the other hand, the paradigm is interpreted to be method rather than goal orientated, the paradigm shift might ultimately lead to the insight or a rediscovery of the situation specificness of behavior which implies that the relevance, the appropriateness and effectiveness of any method is essentially situation specific. Against this background, most generalizations become questionable.

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Agroforestry Systems in South Africa: Role of Extension Services, Chris O. Igodan, 1-12.

This paper discusses some of the issues related to the practice of agroforestry systems in South Africa with a view of closely examining the role of extension services in the sustainability of agroforestry programmes. This discussion is done with an informed knowledge that it will act as a good basis of reaching and working with small farmers involved in the sustainability of agroforestry programmes.

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An Instrument to Measure Management Efficiency: Indian Sericulture Enterprise is the Case, N. Nagaraja & M. K. Sethurao, 13-26.

Management efficiency is the degree to which an individual acquires effectiveness in the enterprise to reach higher levels of performance. Although the management is recognized as an important factor in the profit maximization process, there are no adequate studies to indicate the determinants of management efficiency of an individual, as well as, its quantification at higher level of measurement. The present study aims at identifying the components of management efficiency and measurement of it at an interval level. Knowledge of an enterprise, acquisition of skills, planning ability, rational decision making ability, timely adoption, resource mobilization ability, coordination ability, efficient utilization of resources, rational marketing, and competence in evaluation were found to be the determinations of management efficiency. An instrument was developed considering these determinants to measure the management efficiency by following normalized rank approach suggested by Guilford (1954). The instrument developed was proved to be standardized and objective type by different methods of reliability, validity and norms of distribution of scores.

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Intermediate Level Agricultural Education In Nigeria: Diploma Holders are 'Job-Seekers' Rather Than Going Back to Till the Land, David Funsho Omokore, 27-32.

Reference is made to intermediate level of education in agriculture. The paper sought to ascertain what the agricultural diploma holders do after training, identify the major constraints that come in their way for going back to land and draw implications for the planning and execution of the training curriculum. For the study, one hundred and fifteen (115) questionnaires were administered to diploma students in five Colleges of Agriculture; 93 were completed and returned. The findings suggest two major constraints, namely, lack of capital and inputs and problems of land acquisition which together accounted largely for the disinterest of the youth in farming. The implications of these findings are highlighted and recommendations are made at addressing the anomalies.

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Mistaking the Opinion Leaders: Diffusion Break Down in Change Strategies, Gustav H. Duvel & Jan J. van der Wateren, 33-48.

The hypothesis investigated in this article is that the disappointing impact of opinion leaders is due to their incorrect identification. Evidence is showing that the classical method of opinion leader identification tends to identify the knowledgeable rather than the influential person. Accessibilities is more important than knowledge but to be negatively related to knowledge or competence. Friendship, on the other hand, is almost synonymous with accessibility and could be used as an indication of it, provided the limitation of restricted differentiation ability can be overcome.

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Lessons on Agricultural Extension: In Global Perspectives, William M. Rivera, 49-75.

The changes and challenges affecting extension are symptomatic of wider forces at work in society (Rivera and Gustafson 1991). Without a knowledge and appreciation of both global and individual country forces, and their meaning for agricultural development in general and extension in particular, attempts at formulating or improving extension are likely to fail.

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Air-related Environmental Ethics: Indian Way of Consciousness, O. S. Verma & Suniti Kumar Jha, 76-89.

By and large, Indian way of environmental consciousness seems to be sluggish as the findings of this study indicate that the dungcakes, firewoods, and coal which are supposed to be most striking air-related pollutants are almost always used in Indian rural homes. Similarly, trashes of sugarcane and paddy straws which need to be used either for mulching or cattle bedding are often burnt in the field itself thus producing huge smoke. Bidi-cigarette smoking and chewing of tobacco-pan which are injurious to human health and thus forbidden environmental ethics, are also found to be used in abundance and that too in public places. Small scale village industries which have already become health hazards are mushrooming in and around Indian Villages. Emissions from the diesel vehicles like tractors, trucks & buses, and even diesel engines are found to be significant sources of environmental degradation in rural areas. If these practices continue unabated, the Indian Villages which are considered to be pollution free clean environment localities will remain no different from cities. Therefore, civil remedies to mitigate pollution from the Indian rural scene have to be found at the earliest. Perhaps, educational campaigns using media-mix communication systems, duly incorporated in the policy document as a mandatory requirement of the development agencies, can check this menace.

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Animal Traction Ownership and Utilization in Nigeria: Farmers' Characteristics are Determinants to the Extent of 43 Percent and 69 Percent Respectively, A. M. Omotayo, T. K. Atala & S. A. Ogunwale, 90-107.

This study examines farmers' characteristics which affect animal traction ownership and utilization in a semi-arid farming system in Nigeria. A total of one hundred and seventy farm households were selected through a combination of purposive and systematic random sampling techniques and surveyed using structured interview technique. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression. The results show that animal traction owners were older, owned larger farms, had training on animal traction and had access to more credit than non-owners. It was also found that access status, farm size, and training on animal traction were significant determinants of level of utilization of the technology. While the labour saving advantage of animal traction appeared obvious when users and non-users were compared, it remained unclear in the comparison between Independent and Dependent users of the technology. Suggestions for improved utilization of the technology include careful targeting of specific categories of farmers in the promotion of the technology, expansion of the existing animal traction credit scheme, and training of both adopters and non-adopters of the technology and more efficient utilization of the technology.

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